Restlessness, a sense of urgency, a strong understanding of business and a keen wit are four things that Ron Sone will never be without. Good traits for a creative director on your business, to say the least. Ron has been at the intersection of plenty of good work that's been coming out of SCC in the last decade, including his role as a Creative Director on the Chicago Cubs brand. With 20+ years of experience, Ron's applies insight to imagination, creating powerful ideas that have real impact on his clients' businesses.
Ron started his career at what was then Schafer Condon, then left to hone his skills as Creative Director at shops including ZLR and The Meyocks Group, where he helped lead work for T-Mobile's I Wireless, Hy-Vee Food Stores and the Iowa Lottery, to name a few. He was also previously a partner at Portland, OR-based Surge Marketing, an interactive creative shop that specializes in web development and digital marketing before coming back to SCC and racking up results– and a number of awards.
Ron is a graduate of Southern Illinois University, and one of the many avid musicians at SCC. And when it comes to Beatles vs. Stones? The Stones. No contest.
At SCC, Talent Experience, aka TX, is a dynamic force within the organization and a critical link to finding, retaining and developing the creative and technology talent that fuels SCC's success for its clients. Amy joined SCC just as the agency was starting on its digital transformation. There was no HR department yet, so she dug in and started to implement best-practice processes and procedures across the needs of the organization. And since SCC was growing rapidly, Amy quickly built out a team that is heavily involved in recruiting across SCC departments. The agency has nearly doubled in size since Amy arrived.
Amy’s road to HR was not typical; an art and lit major, Amy learned the business while working for a prominent Chicago law firm during college, graduating with a BA in English Literature thereafter. A born networker, she began her career as an ad agency recruiter, later assuming roles managing both HR and Recruiting. Looking to get back to her creative roots, Amy joined SCC in 2013. Stepping off the elevator, she knew SCC was the perfect blend of culture, talent and rock n’ roll for her not-so-traditional HR background.
Today, Amy enjoys the same work/life balance she works to enable for everyone at the agency, spending time with her husband—and the never-relaxing life being a boy-mom to her spunky redhead.
With over 20 years in advertising and integrated communications, Rebecca has applied her passion for brand strategy to large integrated campaigns across traditional media, digital, social and sponsorship. She has managed international production, worked in Hollywood and even walked a red carpet, but her heart brought her back to the Midwest.
Before joining SCC, Rebecca spent nearly a decade working with the Interpublic Group of agencies on financial services and Fortune 500 industrial business. At DDB Chicago she managed integrated Effie-winning campaigns for State Farm Auto and Life Insurance. Her experience also includes brand work with Morton Salt, Walgreens, The United States Postal Service, Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, and Mead Corporation among others. At Dailey in Los Angeles, she worked on Weyerhaeuser Forest Products and then Intuit (TurboTax, Mint), managing integrated digital programs while part of the leadership team for offline strategy and overall brand development.
Brian has worked in agency Account Leadership and Strategy roles for over 25 years – at big agencies like Leo Burnett, small shops like the one he ran in San Francisco with two Creative partners, and great mid-size creative agencies like Goodby Silverstein. He’s worked with big clients like Nike, Kellogg’s, Porsche and Safeway and little ones like Einstein Bros Bagels and Sonoma Raceway (the “IMS of wine country”). Most recently, Brian was at Epsilon where he helped retain and rebuild key clients like Intarcia Therapeutics and Hormel. He did the same at DDB, shoring up the Safeway business.
Born in Chicago, raised in San Francisco, having lived and worked in both cities, he now lives in Wheaton with his “statistically significant other,” her children and their dog. He commutes by train and bike – Divvy gave him an award last year for “most rides below freezing.” He is passionate about animals, wild and domestic, and environmental sustainability (he has a cabin in the woods between Napa and Sonoma, so be nice to him and he’ll let you use it).
Michael brings a thoughtful, polished, powerful aesthetic to his creative work across brand platforms. A 20-year industry veteran, Michael joined SCC in 2011. His collaborative approach and easy-going manner make him an asset to any brand he gets involved with, but Michael will also challenge the status quo and motivate everyone around him to make good work even better. SCC's award-winning work for the Cubs is a great example of Michael's influence.
His career began as an Art Director at Leo Burnett, where he worked on brands such as Procter & Gamble and Allstate Insurance. Michael then moved to Chicago Creative Partnership as Creative Director for the Bob Evans brand–both the casual dining chain as well as the CPG portion of the business–overseeing everything from broadcast to in-store marketing. Michael has been instrumental on SCC's campaigns for the National Pork Board, Terlato Wines, and the Chicago Cubs, and his work has earned him numerous industry awards.
Michael is a graduate of Eastern Illinois University with a Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Design. Michael's skills, energy, and artistic interests keep him busy on all sorts of things outside of SCC. His big, lovable St. Bernard, Violet, is a regular visitor and a favorite of the staff at SCC.
Richard brings a dynamic, global, entrepreneurial perspective to SCC clients across B2C & B2B business models. He joined SCC after seven years at Epsilon, where he rose to President of its agency division which spanned 17 offices globally with over 1,200 employees and clients including Google, Bacardi and Dell.
A native of New Zealand, Richard came to the USA 18 years ago to open the Chicago office of TimeZone 1, a creative agency he co-founded in Christ Church, NZ. After building the agency's business in the U.S., Richard exited from his equity position and joined Epsilon as SVP Strategy & Growth before being promoted to President of the Epsilon Agency.
Richard currently resides in Glenview with his wife and two children.
As Director of SCC Design, Melissa's purview starts with every image and piece of produced art that comes through SCC's production department. Whether it is a package design system for Procter & Gamble or season tickets for the Chicago Cubs, Melissa's expert eye is on it. Melissa's job is to understand the creative vision for a project and add value throughout its completion. From determining the best, most efficient way to achieve the desired outcome given the imposed constraints of the project, to the deployment the appropriate talent and tools to make that happen. She is a smart manager and an inspirational mentor, providing guidance and technical support to the agency beyond the Adobe Creative Suite. A 15-year SCC veteran, Melissa's collaboration with other departments to develop better, more efficient means of getting the job done has helped SCC throughout its growth.
Megan is a joy to work with on any project. She's whip-smart and chameleon-like in her ability to adapt to the challenge at hand regardless of brand, category, channel or business model. She gets it. Fast. And not only does Megan bring a super-tasty art direction and design aesthetic, fantastic typography and color palettes to the party, she's also a pretty darn good writer.
Megan started her career on the design side, working at some of Chicago's boutique design firms before getting into conceptual art direction at SCC in 2006. She was a quick study and before long she was leading key creative assignments for SCC clients, marking her rise to Creative Director. Megan has been the creative force behind Friendly's Restaurants, Kerrygold, Portillo's, and a contributor to many others.
Megan graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in Fine Arts and Graphic Design. Another foodie in the house, Megan enjoys exploring Chicago cuisine and trying out recipes on her husband and two children.
As a multiple Cannes Lion winner and a slew of other U.S. and international film awards to his credit, Leroy was an A-list director based in Chicago running Koetz & Co., when he shot SCC's first national TV commercial in 1990 for Cat's Pride Cat Litter. It started a relationship that is approaching 30 years. Lucky for SCC. As a creative, a director, a producer, an editor, an eye to making something good into something great, a mentor, an advisor, Leroy is a force majeure.
Leroy decided to go out on top and close down his production company in 2004, bringing with him substantial commercial production credentials. His campaign for P&G's Cheer brand detergent is legendary, ranked by both Ad Age and TV Guide as one of the top 50 of all time and also recognized by AdWeek as one of the top campaigns of the 1990s. Mark and Tim asked him if he'd like to help produce a package of spots they were getting ready to shoot in LA, and the gig just kept going. Leroy has been the man behind SCC's production capabilities ever since and has earned plenty of hardware here as well–Addys, two Clios and an Emmy nomination in 2017 alone.
Leroy is a busy guy. A talented musician, he plays with several bands. He also independently produces, directs and edits comedy short films with a group of former Second City collaborators. He has taught in film and production at Columbia College, rides a bike or motorcycle to work almost every day, boats whenever he can, is an avid photographer — and is continually trying to finish several paintings he’s started over the years. Phew.
Vision, focus, and c-suite marketing, advertising, CPG, retail and brand expertise. With nearly four decades of success (client and agency side) across categories and business models, David is an invaluable partner to clients and a leader of teams. Starting at Leo Burnett, he became a senior executive and partner – leading accounts including McDonald's, Walt Disney and Miller Brewing. He also worked with CPG clients including Kraft, Nestlé and Procter & Gamble. David left Burnett to join Sears, Roebuck and Co. during a period of transformation. As the top marketing executive and a Board-elected officer reporting directly to the Chairman and CEO, David managed the largest retail-marketing budget and organization in the U.S. He left Sears to join Potbelly Sandwich Works as CMO, helping lead their pre-IPO expansion.
David has a BA in English Literature from Amherst College and an MBA in Marketing and Finance from The Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. He serves as Chairman of the Governing Board of Gilda's Club Chicago and was honored with the 2014 American Advertising Federation Silver Medal Award for outstanding achievement in Advertising. David is a singer/drummer double threat and an avid golfer.
Few people light up the energy in a room like Amy Cesta. Her enthusiasm and love of what she does are palpable, and it is contagious. Another one of SCC's longtime team members of 10+ years, Amy has gone from one of our best client managers to one of our best client leaders–and there's a difference. With a cultural sensibility shaped by travel, politics, music, entertainment, sports, and media, Amy is anything but a conventional thinker. She has an intuitive sense of how a brand fits into the marketplace, and how to make it fit better.
In her early career, Amy was designing and implementing high-profile buzz campaigns for leading brands at Six Degrees, Inc., a Chicago-based word-of-mouth marketing agency. She was then recruited by Viacom as a young executive on the affiliate sales and marketing team at MTV Networks where she developed and implemented integrated campaigns for the flagship network and its subordinate brands. Amy then joined SCC in 2007, after recharging on a four week trip across Africa.
Amy is a consummate "foodie” with over 150 cookbooks. She is a triathlete and an adventurous traveler. She has a BA from the University of Notre Dame in American Studies.
While the creative side of the agency business tends to be loose and subjective in nature, the financial management side of the business needs to be in black and white and tight as a drum. Tara’s department has been rock-solid part of SCC since she rose to become the department’s Director. Tara started at SCC over 11 years ago as an accounting coordinator and quickly showed that she had the tenacity and attention to detail required to run every aspect of SCC’s financials, which involves not only SCC but SCC’s many other entrepreneurial ventures.
Tara’s intelligence and drive have helped SCC evolve its financial acumen to a highly-sophisticated level, keeping revenue, cost FTE headcount and freelancer numbers in alignment to maximize profit as the agency continues to invest in areas of growth. She is responsible for all financial functions including managing cash flow and projections. Before SCC, Tara was an accountant in the logistics and transportation industry, which gave her great insight into SCC’s needs for just-in-time matching of resources with revenue opportunities.
Tara graduated with a BS in Accounting at Saint Xavier University where she also played D2 fast-pitch softball. She is an avid Cubs, Hawks, and Bears fan. An animal lover at heart, she has three standard poodles that are AKC conformation champions and a cat that she rescued in the middle of a terrible Chicago blizzard. If you have a financial or dog related question, Tara is your go-to person.
For Ben, the right question isn’t ‘What do you want?’ but ‘What are you trying to accomplish?’ Beginning his career in Client Leadership, Ben partnered to create insight-driven integrated campaigns for brands including RedBox, Farley’s and Sathers Candy Company, the National Pork Board and Friendly’s Restaurants. With his hunger for new challenges and passion for the digital space, he raised his hand to oversee SCC|digital – spearheading project success, operations, and business development. For Ben, a smart digital strategy is all about connecting brands and humans at the right place, at the right time, with the right messages and experiences. When not talking implementations, integrations, and configurations, Ben plays house and sings Disney songs (poorly) with his talkative three-year-old daughter and newborn son.
Suzanne brings incredible energy, enthusiasm and a uniquely intellectual and creative skill-set to brand and creative strategy at SCC. With a rare combination of right brain/left brain firepower seemingly built expressly for the business of growing brands, her contextual understanding of culture, desire, the nuances of human behavior – and what it takes to change behavior – has been critical to the development of powerful human insights that affect the trajectory of the brands we serve. Suzanne joined SCC in 1998, working as a creative, creative director and executive creative director. Shifting gears, she co-authored the IP for our planning process and spearheaded our renewed focus on human insights. She has been an invaluable part of successful campaigns for the National Pork Board, Allen Edmonds, Santa Margherita Wines, Solo Cup Company, Seven Daughters Wines and Advocate Health Care, among many others. A native Canadian, Suzanne holds a Ph.D. in Political Philosophy from Vanderbilt University – appropriate training for a life dedicated to the art of persuasion.
Tim's strategic, creative and entrepreneurial vision has helped many SCC clients achieve success through the years. It's also helped guide SCC to its coming of age as a highly-skilled, integrated multi-platform brand champion. Tim has always been a challenger of the status quo, myopic thinking and the shackles of legacy. He's an inventive change agent with strategic business instincts and an eye for big ideas. Whether weighing in on a business plan, creative campaign, sponsorship deal, merger, acquisition, whatever, Tim will likely add value to the equation.
His career started on the account management side of the agency business before switching to the creative side as a copywriter at Bozell & Jacobs in 1986. In 1989, together with his good friend and college roommate, the late Mark Schafer, they started Schafer Condon in Condon's River North apartment.
Tim has a BA in Broadcasting & Film from the University of Iowa. He has been very active in SCC's pro bono efforts for local, regional and national organizations and was Chairman of the 4A's Chicago Council for five years.
An award-winning writer and creative leader, Denny's work can be seen all over the world in dozens of languages. With his ability to leverage culture and human behavior to craft powerful, compelling brand messages, he can make a jar of dirt a ‘must have.’ Denny's collaborative nature, innate curiosity and ability to see a client’s business through the eyes of the consumer have helped him lead work for brands such as Pepsi’s Mist TWST, Chicago Cubs, Eckrich Meats, Southern Comfort, Friendly’s Restaurants, First Midwest Bank, Rotary International and the Ad Council. Prior to SCC, following stints at Doner and Grant/Jacoby, Denny co-founded Romani Bros., which merged with SCC in 2008. A graduate of Northwestern University with a degree in Theater, Denny is a busy guy outside of SCC. You can find his children’s book – Robots Everywhere – on Amazon. He also writes a weekly column for the local Glenview newspaper, The Lantern.
Crazy timelines? Strapped budgets? No biggie for Bannon. With his extensive background as an agency-side producer at Leo Burnett and client-side at ConAgra Foods, his portfolio includes award-winning creative for clients like Coca-Cola, Disney, Nintendo, McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble. An avid lover of film and golf, he considers Caddyshack a true classic.
Josh is a 25-year veteran of advertising and digital agency planning departments. Prior to leading digital strategy and planning across Edelman’s North American practice as Executive VP, Planning and Strategy, he managed digital planning and strategy at Google across the Food, Beverage & Restaurant vertical (over 140 brands). A champion of data-driven marketing for CPG companies including Kraft, Kimberly-Clark, AB InBev, Mondelez, and S.C. Johnson, Josh also has extensive experience managing global brand strategy and developing global insights & strategy work for brands like NIVEA, Paper-Mate, Alka-Seltzer, Samsung, Kellogg’s, Alitalia, Discover/Diners Club and YUM! Brands. His category experience includes CPG, Pharma, Professional Services, QSR, Pet Food & Pet Care, Telecommunications, Beauty & Personal Care, Consumer Electronics, Entertainment and Banking & Financial Services.
When not burying his face in a screen, Joshua can be found under a pair of headphones smiling along to sad indie-pop, devouring non- fiction, collecting (records, pens and pencils, Japanese handkerchiefs), swimming wherever he can find some open water, walkin' around, lookin' at stuff, thinkin’ about people, or hanging out with his wife and their dogs, two crazy coonhound rescues named Dewey and Dottie.
Originally from Minneapolis, Paige moved to Chicago and joined SCC in May 2007. In her time at SCC, Paige has worn many hats. She has gained experience in public relations, traditional advertising, and social media, providing her with a broad marketing resume and a unique perspective to marketing.
Paige currently manages a portfolio of wine brands, including The Federalist, Seven Daughters, Terlato Vineyards, as well as the corporate branding initiatives for the parent company, Terlato Wines. As an avid foodie and wine lover, these accounts are a perfect fit for Paige.
In addition to her burgeoning wine knowledge, Paige handles public relations for Allen Edmonds, one of the last remaining U.S. shoe manufacturers. Her dedication to this account over the last 6 years has earned impressive results including placements in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Bloomberg, GQ, and Esquire, as well as a live remote on CNN.
Paige's easy-going leadership style and ready laughter allow her to develop strong, trusting relationships. She earns the respect of her colleagues and clients through insight, dedication, and strategic thinking; all the while striving to do the best work that solves the most important business problems.
Paige earned a bachelor’s degrees in journalism and mass communication with an emphasis in strategic communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She loves spending time at her family’s Northwoods cabin in Osceola, Wisconsin, and making an annual ski pilgrimage to Copper Mountain, Colorado.
The backbone of agency operations, from finance to HR to legal to compliance to administration, Greg joined SCC as a young’un back in 1995 and still has his boyish good looks and boundless energy. Lots and lots of energy. Greg began his career with an internship at Chiat Day that confirmed his love for advertising. He then joined Ketchum Communications working on Allstate Insurance where he met Gail Carter, who eventually brought him to SCC. Greg worked his way up managing businesses including the National Pork Board, Solo Cup, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates, Kicker Audio, Swift & Co. and Clark Retail Enterprises. As SCC continued to grow and we needed to shore up internal systems, Greg was the natural choice, given his firsthand knowledge of everything we do and how we do it. Greg is a Purdue University graduate and, while he may not be a scratch golfer, he’ll likely outdrive you by 50 yards every time.
Cristen is a pure creative talent built for the business of advertising and persuasion. Her ability to take a dry strategy statement and turn it into a range of dynamic brand ideas is truly remarkable. She makes brand planners–and copywriters look very, very good. She's also a fun person to share a bottle of Chardonnay with and ponder the world we live in.
Cristen started out at Chicago agency Grant/Jacoby, and she was subsequently recruited by Denny Hebson and Chicago creative icon Bernie Pitzel to join Romani Bros., to work on the ATA Airlines account. When Romani was acquired by SCC, we were fortunate to have Cristen join us as well. Cristen's impact at SCC can be seen across many client businesses. Pepsico, Procter & Gamble, Johnson & Johnson and Advocate Health Care to name a few.
Cristen graduated from the American Academy of Art and lives with her husband and their young son, Ryan in the Northern suburbs of Chicago.
Veronica (or "V" as she is known around the office) is a dynamic, results-driven Account Director with 13 years of high-profile brand experience under her belt. V has been with SCC for the last eight years, bringing her enthusiasm and lending her leadership across several SCC clients including Pepsico, Portillo's, Friendly's Restaurants, First Midwest Bank and Rotary International.
Her career started in account management at Doner where she served on The Cleveland Clinic, INVISTA Performance Fabrics (Lycra and Teflon) and Buffets Inc. Upon moving to SCC, she continued to hone her integrated marketing leadership skills across a diverse set of brands and categories. In addition, Veronica has a passion for the charitable sector and has served as lead on a number of non-profit businesses including Rotary International, the American Heart Association, and Scott C.A.R.E.S. She takes great pride in this work knowing that the ultimate objective is the betterment of life.
V is a busy, engaged member of the Chicago community. She’s an avid runner, yogi, and reader, She's passionate about food, drink and music (both listening to music and playing instruments). A relative newly-wed, Veronica lives in the city with her husband.